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Enslaved To…?: Obedience in Light of God’s Grace (Pt. 3)
Romans 6:15-19
March 18, 2018

One of the sad verses of the Bible is 2 Timothy 4:10 — “…Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica…” Like Lot who moved to Sodom and his wife who yearningly looked back at Sodom as it was being destroyed, and Judas, who loved money more than Christ, Demas was attracted by the allurements of what the world could offer. And though the text doesn’t say there was a conversation between Paul and Demas, it sounds like there was. I can imagine something like this:

Demas:  “Paul, I’m going to be leaving tomorrow — I’m going to Thessalonica.”

Paul:  “Demas, what is your motive for leaving? We haven’t talked about ministry needs in Thessalonica. And we’ve actually talked about the dangers of serving Christ there.”

D:  “Well, actually, I’m not leaving for ministry; I’ve been offered a job and I have some old friends there that tell me what a good place Thessalonica is — really relaxing and lots of good times.”

P:  “But Demas, you have been with me in Colossae; you’ve seen how the gospel transformed Philemon and Onesimus’ relationship. We’ve shared the gospel with many together. How can you leave? And for Thessalonica? You know the ungodly influences that are in that place.”

D:  “I’m just burned out and tired. I’m weary of working, and I’m sick of not ever having anything of my own and I’m tired of ungodly people succeeding and looking at believers always being persecuted and suffering. I’m just not sure that it’s worth the cost to be a Christian, the way you describe it. The way I figure it, if we’re forgiven, we can pretty much do what we want. In fact, I think that if we really want to know what grace is then we have to experience the world’s way.”

P:  “Demas, this is folly; you are about to exchange the eternal for the temporal. You’re going the way of Judas; your soul is at stake with this decision.”

D:  “Maybe. I don’t know — it just seems to me that sin is pretty indefinable and not a big deal even if you can define it. God will always forgive, Paul. Don’t you believe in magnanimous grace? I just know I’m leaving in the morning for Thessalonica…”

This is the mindset of those who will distort and pervert grace. But as Paul notes in Romans 6, if we are to claim Christ as our Master, then we must be willing to do what He does. Following Christ means being obedient to Christ. That is a truth that abounds in NT teaching, but it is particularly in the passage before us in Romans 6, where Paul teaches us that…

Living by grace means living obediently to God.

While some will assert that living by grace means being obedient to one’s self and not to Christ, Paul clearly states that obedience is fundamental to being a Christian. What do we need to know about grace so that we can live obediently to the Lord? We’ve been considering four truths about grace that we must know and believe and live. In addition to the last of those, this morning I also want us to think about the objection that “I don’t feel like I’ve been freed from sin by God’s grace.”

  1. A Question About Grace (v. 15a)
  2. A Misunderstanding About Grace (v. 15b)
  3. A Correction About Grace (v. 16)
  4. What Grace Does in Us (vv. 17-19)
  • Grace transforms our hearts (v. 17b)
  • Grace enslaves us to righteousness (v. 18)
  • Grace freed us from sin’s downward spiral (v. 19a)
  • Grace produces sanctification’s upward spiral (v. 19b)
  1. But I Don’t Feel “Free”

 

  • Consider yourself to be dead to sin (v. 11)
  • Consider your life in God and Christ (v. 11)

Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 6:5-19.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website tomorrow morning.